The New York Times picked up Sheriff Jimmy "J.J." Jones' comments about stacking undocumented immigrants like cordwood in his jails.
Lawrence Downes writes on the Taking Note Editorial Page Editors' Blog that those comments are a "very important reason...why there needs to be a bright line separating the federal government and local police on immigration."
Downes says Jones' cordwood imagery is "brutal," and more "befitting a violent demagogue, not a sworn peace officer."
The Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition is also pushing back against Jones' statements by starting a petition on MoveOn.org calling for Attorney General Eric Holder to open a civil rights investigation into the Knox County Sheriff's Office. The petition says Jones' "past history and current vow to 'stack immigrants like cordwood' in his jail are cause for alarm and investigation." At 1:15 p.m., 183 people had signed the petition.
Local groups are also standing up against the sheriff. Advocacy groups, including the Comite Popular de Knoxville, will meet tonight at 6 p.m. on Market Square and march to the City County Building to send the message to Jones that there is a difference between a human being and cordwood.